In part one, we looked at some of the physical differences between dogs vs. humans and the effects on nutritional requirements. We compared, the number of teeth, the structure of the dogs jaw and perhaps most importantly the length of the digestive system. A dog’s intestine is very short so they need to process foods quickly.
Certain additives that we take for granted, can create liver and kidney damage. Liver and kidney diseases are amongst the leading causes of illness in dogs. For example, our water contains fluoride. Dogs do not get cavities so they sure do not need fluoride in their water. It can be safe for people (even though 10 European countries have banned fluorination of water). In dogs, fluoride alters serum calcium/phosphorous balance and can damage bones and kidneys. Dogs should drink filtered water and stay away from processed, canned dog food. These contain high levels of concentrated fluoride.
Did you know that dogs make their own Vitamin C? Dogs use trace minerals in the liver to produce their own supply of this vitamin. Humans cannot do this. Supplementing Vitamin C for dogs can create pH imbalances in the kidney. Adding Vit C can also damage the liver. Many manufacturers use vitamin C because it is a cheap preservative that prevents discoloration, not because it benefits the dog.
There are many differences between dogs and humans and we can take a look at them in later articles, dog’s sense of smell, sight and hearing is all dramatically different and bears looking into. Most people realize that dogs see motion better than humans but did you know that your dog has a third eyelid? It helps to protect the eye and remove debris. Dogs have flatter lenses and larger pupils so you see that when you delve a little deeper into your four-legged friends physiology that you need to learn more about how dogs are built in order to understand the “why” of what they might need.
While a good portion of what we focus on has to do with digestion and nutrition knowing your dog better than ever can only help you take better care of your dog and have him around to enjoy for a long time. I hope you have enjoyed this comparison and that it helps you make informed decisions about how and what to feed your best friend. We all need whole, natural, unprocessed food. You can see that dogs need high quality, human grade dog food for healthy absorption and digestion.
Amongst other things we will be covering how to read labels in future articles.
Always remember, Health comes from the inside out!
Dr. Janice Elenbaas DC has had a long and successful career as a Chiropractor to both humans and animals. As the first woman recognized to adjust animals in Canada and a founding member of the first Ontario Veterinarian Chiropractic Association she is passionate about our animals’ health. With four years of Nutritional Studies coupled with a natural approach to health care and a lifelong love of animals it was only natural that Dr. Elenbaas founded Lucky Dog Cuisine Inc. A company dedicated to providing All American, all natural, “Human Grade”, cooked meals for dogs.